ITR - Income Tax Return or IT Return

Income Tax Returns or ITR is a form used to declare the net tax liability, claiming of tax deductions, and to report the gross taxable income. It is mandatory for individuals who earn a certain amount of money have to File IT Returns. Firms or companies, Hindu Undivided Families (HUFs), and self-employed or salaried individuals must file ITR to the Income Tax Department of India.

Note: You can now file your taxes through the New income tax portal. The new portal comes with a plethora of features and is designed to ease the tax filing process.

What is ITR filing?

ITR filing is the process by which taxpayer has to file a report of his total income earned on financial year. Through Income Tax Department official portal individual can complete their filing of returns. It has notified with seven various forms - ITR 1, ITR 2, ITR 3, ITR 4, ITR 5, ITR 6 and ITR 7.

Latest update:
In an attempt to offer relief to all the taxpayers, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had extended the deadline for filing ITR for FY 2020-21, ie.; (AY 2021-22). The new deadline is 31 December 2021. The Income Tax department has also extended many other tax compliance deadlines. The extension of these due dates and the tax filing due date for taxpayers is crucial as the pandemic is raging through many states in India.

  • Audit Assessees/companies have time till 15 March 2022 for filing the income tax return. The earlier deadline was 30 November 2021.
  • The due date of filing belated and revised return of income is 31 March 2022. The earlier date was 31 January 2022.
  • The due date of furnishing Tax Audit Report has been extended to 15 February 2022.
  • The due date of Transfer Pricing Certificate is now 15 January 2022.
  • The due date for TDS Statement for fourth quarter of FY 2020-21 was 30 June 2021.
  • The last date for issuing Form 16 was 31 July 2021.

Why should you file ITR?

It is mandatory for one to file income tax returns in India, if he comes under any of the following conditions:

  • Individuals who fall within the respective tax slabs.
  • If it’s a Company or Firm, irrespective of the profit or loss made in a financial year.
  • IT returns filing steps
    Income Tax Return
  • If a tax refund needs to be claimed.
  • If a loss under a head of income needs to be carried forward.
  • If being a resident of India, one has an asset or financial interest in any entity located outside India.
  • If being a resident of India, one is a signing authority in a foreign account.
  • If one receives income derived from property held under a trust for charitable or religious purposes or a political party or a research association, news agency, educational or medical institution, trade union, a not-for-profit university or educational institution, a hospital, infrastructure debt fund, any authority, body or trust.
  • If one is applying for a loan or a visa.
  • If an NRI derives any or all of his/her income through sources in India, that income is liable to be taxable in India, and income tax returns for the same will be necessary.

With the implementation of efiling of Income Tax Returns, the following cases will require an e-filing Income Tax :

  • In case a refund is required
  • In case the gross total annual income exceeds Rs.5 lakh
  • In case an income tax refund is required
  • ITR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 have to be mandatorily e-filed

How to Download ITR Form?

Here is a step-by-step procedure to download the ITR forms from Income Tax Department of India's website

  • Step 1: Visit the official income tax department (ITD) website at
  • Step 2: From the menu bar on the home page, click on the ‘Forms/Downloads’ option and navigate to the ‘Income Tax Returns’ menu.
  • Step 3: You will be redirected to a new webpage wherein you can find a list of all the ITR forms. Click on the ‘PDF’ option next to the respective forms to download them.

Which ITR form to file?

Depending on the type of income that is generated by the taxpayer, the form that must be submitted will be different. The various forms can be downloaded from the official website of the income tax department The different types of ITR forms that are available are mentioned below:

ITR Form Name Applicability
ITR-1 or Sahaj The form must be used by individuals who make an annual income of less than Rs.50 lakh via pension or salary and from only one house property.
ITR-2 The form must be used by shareholders of private companies, Directors of Companies, Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), or individuals who make an income via capital gains, from two or more house properties, and from foreign sources. However, the income of the individual must be more than Rs.50 lakh.
ITR-3 The form must be used by individuals who run a proprietorship or are professionals in India.
ITR-4 or Sugam Individuals who are under the presumptive taxation scheme must use this form. In order for individuals to join the scheme, they must earn less than Rs.50 lakh from professional income or less than Rs.2 crore from business income.
ITR-5 In order for association and body of individuals, Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), and partnership firms to report their income and tax computation, this form must be used.
ITR-6 Companies that are registered in India must use this form.
ITR-7 In case entities are claiming an exemption as universities or colleges, scientific research institutions, political parties, and religious or charitable trusts, this form must be used.

Documents required to fill ITR

For Filing IT returns Online, the following documents are needed:

  • Pan card
  • Form 26AS
  • Form 16A, 16B, 16C
  • Salary Pay slips
  • Bank statements
  • Interest certificates
  • TDS certificate
  • Proof of tax saving investments

How to file ITR for AY 2021-22

You can file the ITR by visiting the official website of the Income Tax Department. However, the registration process must be completed before you can file the IT Return online. The Income Tax Department (ITD) of the Government of India has recently updated the online portal for e-filing of income tax returns. The updated portal makes the e-filing process even easier and can be filed by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Step 1: On the basis of the provisions prescribed by the Income Tax rules, you can find out your income tax liability.
  • Step 2: You can refer to your Form 26AS to get a summary of your TDS payment for the different quarters of the assessment year.
  • Step 3: On the basis of the eligibility criteria provided by the Income Tax Department (ITD), you will have to determine the category that you will fall under.
  • Step 4: Visit the official e-filing portal of the income tax department at e-Filing Home Page, Income Tax Department, Government of India (
  • Step 5: In case you are a new user, you can register yourself using the ‘Register’ button.
  • Step 6: If you have already registered yourself on the portal previously, you can just click on the ‘Login’ button.
  • Step 7: Click on the ‘File Income Tax Return’ option under the ‘e-file’ tab.
  • Step 8: From the list provided on the website, you have to choose the category that you fall under – individual, Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), and so on.
  • Step 9: Choose the suitable ITR Form that is applicable to you.
  • Step 10: You will be required to enter the details of your bank account as well. If you have already provided the same previously, you will be required to pre-validate the details.
  • Step 11: After this, you will be redirected to a new web page where you will be able to check the pre-filled details of your ITR. Check the details and make changes if required. Once you are sure that all the details provided in the form are correct, confirm the same and validate it.
  • Step 12: Once the process is complete, verify the returns and send a hard copy of the same to the Income Tax Department.

Is it possible to file IT Returns without Form 16?

Yes, it is possible to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) without Form 16.

Steps to file ITR without Form 16

These are the steps to file ITR if you don't have Form 16:

  • Step 1: Determine how much income you earned from all your sources combined which would include your salary or pension, rent, capital gain on the sales of a capital asset, interest from your fixed deposits and bank accounts, etc.
  • Step 2: Calculate your Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) which you can do with the help of Form 26AS which can be downloaded from the website of TRACES.
  • Step 3: Calculate your TDS on income. If you have House Rent Allowance (HRA) in your salary breakup, you can deduction on HRA for which you have to submit your rental receipts to your organization's payroll department. If this has not been submitted in advance, you can claim it while filing your returns too.
  • Step 4: Calculate your total income for the entire financial year for which you are filing your tax returns. The total income is the sum of all the income received and the TDS that has been deducted on that income.
  • Step 5: Claim the deductions that you are eligible for on your investments and payments. This should be done in the computation of your total taxable income. For Provident Fund deductions, you can only claim deduction for your own contribution and not for your employer's.
  • Step 6: Calculate your total taxable income by deducting the total deductions that can be claimed from the sum total of your income earned.
  • Step 7: Calculate your tax liability for the year by applying the tax slab rates which are applicable to you.
  • Step 8: Determine the tax payable by you. If the TDS deducted on your income is less than your tax liability as calculated in Step 6, the tax to be paid by you is the difference amount. If the TDS deducted exceeds your tax liability, then you have paid excess tax for which you can claim a refund while filing your IT returns.
  • Step 9: Now you can file your IT returns

Penalty for Late Filing of ITR

In case the returns are not filed by the due date, huge penalties are levied on the taxpayer. Apart from penalties, there could be other inconveniences and consequences that the individual would face in case the returns are not filed. Depending on when the returns are filed after the due date, individuals could face penalties between Rs.1,000 and Rs.10,000.

Given below is the penalties that are levied for a delay in ITR filing for FY 2020-21:

Due Date of ITR Filing Penalty for Income below Rs.5 lakh Penalty for Income above Rs.5 lakh
Before 31 July Nil Nil
From 1 September to 31 December Rs.1,000 Rs.5,000
From 1 January to 31 March Rs.1,000 Rs.10,000

Apart from penalties, in case taxpayers are eligible to receive a refund, there will be a delay in case the ITR is filed late. Taxpayers will also have to pay a 1% interest on the pending amount in case the returns are not filed on time.

FAQs on Income Tax Returns

  1. Can I file the ITR myself?
  2. Yes, you can file the ITR by visiting the official website of the Income Tax Department.

  3. Is it mandatory to file the ITR?
  4. In case you fall under the tax bracket that is provided by the government, it is mandatory to file the ITR.

  5. Are there any penalties levied in case the ITR is not filed?
  6. Yes, penalties are levied in case the ITR is not filed.

  7. Is it mandatory for salaried employees to file the ITR?
  8. Salaried employees who fall under the tax bracket must file the ITR.

  9. If I have already paid advance taxes and have no dues or refunds, can I skip filing of income tax return?
  10. No, it is mandatory to file your ITR. The government get a complete record of how your income is distributed with the help of the ITR.

  11. Is an ITR useful to me in daily life?
  12. Yes, it is useful to file your tax returns. In case you wish to apply for a loan, the ITR may be considered as a mandatory document that must be submitted.

  13. Can I File Income Tax Return after Due Date?
  14. Yes, you can file your Income Tax Return after the due date. However, a penalty will be levied in case the ITR is filed after the due date.

  15. How to Check the Status of Income Tax Return?
  16. The status of the Income Tax Return can be checked on the official website of the Income Tax Department of India. The status can be checked with the help of your Permanent Account Number and password.

  17. What is Income Tax Return Notice?
  18. If you do not file your Income Tax Return in an Assessment Year, then you may receive a notice from the Income Tax (IT) Department. The IT Department keeps a track on financial transactions and activities of individuals who are identified as non-filers. If there is a discrepancy with the amount of tax that you have declared in your ITR, then you may receive a notice from the IT Department. You may also receive a notice if the department wants to review any documents related to the ITR that you have filed.

News About Income Tax Return

  • Tax filing dates for 2020-21 FY extended for the third time for corporates

    The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has once again extended the last date for corporates to file their income tax returns for FY2020-21. The new deadline is now 15 March for filing of Income Tax Returns (ITR) and 15 February for filing of transfer pricing audit reports and tax audit reports. The extension has been given due to technical glitches in the e-filing platform as well as delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is not applicable for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that are not auditable and are non-corporates.

    12 Jan 2022

  • CBDT chairman says, ITR filing glitches resolved

    As per the statement given by the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), JB Mohapatra, around 2.5 lakh Income Tax (IT) returns are filed every day; and all the issues faced by the taxpayers during IT filing have been resolved.

    During the inauguration of the Taxpayers' Lounge at IITF, Mohapatra added that the number of ITR filed by December is expected to reach 4 crores. He also said that the lounge wishes to boost trust between the taxpayer and department, and educate the taxpayer about the new efforts being taken.

    17 November 2021

  • Individuals holding foreign assets must file ITR

    Individuals who make an income from foreign assets must file the Income Tax Returns (ITR) even if the taxable income is lesser than the basic exemption limit. Individuals must file the returns under ITR-2 and ITR-3. The rule will impact senior citizens who do not have a taxable income but are beneficiaries of any assets that are bought by their family members outside India.

    6 October 2021

  • Last date to file ITR for FY 2020-2021 extended to 31 December 2021

    The government has extended the last date to file the Income Tax Returns (ITR) for the financial year 2020-2021 has been extended to 31 December 2021. Earlier, the last date was 30 September 2021. The government extended the deadline due to glitches in the new income tax portal. The glitches made it difficult for several taxpayers to pay the tax. In this financial year, this is the second time that the deadline has been extended. Earlier, the deadline was extended because of the second wave of the COVID-19. The deadline was extended from 31 July 2021 to 30 September 2021.

    29 September 2021

  • Govt. extends deadline for filing Income Tax returns

    On Thursday, the government extended the deadline for filing Income Tax returns. The new deadline date is December 31. The decision comes amid the coronavirus pandemic and persistent technical problems with its website. It needs to be mentioned here that in the month of May, the government had extended the deadline to September 30. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has also extended the ITR filing deadline for companies till February 15, 2022 from November 30, 2021. The due date for filing the tax audit report and transfer pricing certificate has been extended to January 15, 2022 and January 31, 2022 respectively from the existing deadline of October 31 and November 30. For filing belated or revised return of income, the last date has been extended to March 31, 2022.

    10 September 2021

  • New rule for exemption from Income Tax Returns for Senior Citizens aged 75 and above

    The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman announced Income Tax relaxation for the Senior Citizens in the Union Budget 2021. The new rule says that the Senior Citizens of the age of 75 years and above won't have to file Income Tax Returns (ITR) for the fiscal year 2021-22 if the following conditions are met:
    The senior citizen is of age 75 years or more and is a resident of India.
    The senior citizen has only pension and interest earned on it as a source of income.
    The bank is one of the specified banks in the list provided by the Central Government in the Union Budget of 2021.
    The senior citizen has to provide a declaration form to the bank specified by the Central Government

    7 September 2021

  • Mobile phone friendly application and e-portal for tax filing to be launched in June

    A mobile phone friendly and mobile phone application-based e-filing portal is set to be launched by the Income Tax Department of India. The new portal titled as the e-filing 2.0 portal is scheduled to be launched in India on 7 June 2021.

    The new portal will replace the existing one. The new portal will now have more support for mobile phone users. In addition to that, the ITD has announced that the portal will now come with user manuals and easy to follow step by step video guides to make the e-filing process easier. The existing portal will have the ongoing services suspended from 1 June 2021 to 6 June 2021. The portal is aimed at making the entire filing process and experience easier and more user friendly. To contribute towards the same, the portal will now come with pre-filled ITR forms for the taxpayers making the task easier.

    31 May 2021

  • JSON utility introduced by the IT department for AY 2021-2022 ITRs

    Tax filing for the AY 2021-22 has started since the new financial year has begun. Taxpayers must file their ITR for the FY 2020-21 by 31 July 2021. The CBDT has issued the relevant ITR forms for the assessment year. The Java and Excel versions have been discontinued by the IT Department from this year. The CBDT has introduced a new facility called the JSON and has released a guide on how to use the new software. Only the ITR-1 and ITR-4 come with the offline utility.

    6 April 2021

  • The Centre simplifies ITR fling with pre-filing of details in Union budget 2021

    The Union Budget 2021 was announced on 1 February 2021 by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. In the announcement, the Finance Minister announced a reform in terms of the ITR filing system.

    As per the latest announcement, to ensure the ease of filing of Income Tax Returns, the FM has announced that the details in regard to capital gains from listed securities, interest from banks, dividend income, interest from post office, and so on will be pre-filled in the forms. At present, the details of salary income, TDS, tax payments, etc. are already pre-filled in the income tax returns.

    03 February 2021

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